A lot of discussion about poetry contests in blogworld (these are indeed the dog days).
Ron & Jonathan (unless J. was being tongue-in-cheek) appear not to comprehend the interrelations, the basic "mosaic" (as Paul Anka(!) put it on the radio interview ye'day) between the notions of the contest, anonymity/fairness, and literature as a discrete, distinct, somewhat free-standing entity.
There's a certain amount of trust involved, obviously. With that, there's some excitement in connecting seasoned poets with a first impression of new, "unspoken-for" poetry. Letting the work speak for itself.
Letting the work speak for itself : this is a very basic element of critical disinterestedness & objectivity. I think it's essential to the whole game.
I mean, what are we making art for, fellas & gals? To impress our friends & win flattery points? Begad.
We make art out of our own disinterested apprehension of disinterested Beauty, in all its mysterio-magnanimous variety.
Poetry has its inherent rigorous scales of aesthetic value. These themselves are what guide poets (& good contest judges), not communities of interest & all that political baloney.
The group-glutenized ego-trips can all go fry. They are irrelevant to what it's about. They are dead air from birth. They are the substance of a puffball o'nada.
But in the new doggy-dog world of tribal mini-compounds, this notion of art which transcends "administration" and "community" seems to be hard to grasp for some "folks". What say, "folks"? (God, I'm sick of that word. It's so... faux-folksy. Unless used by real folks.)